Mitchell NC #240 originally purchased by Walt Disney Productions

~
Feel free to discuss any topic related to the Mitchell Camera. Both 35 mm and 16 mm models are welcomed here. Also consider posting topics of other major motion picture cameras that you feel are important to the development of the Mitchell Camera. Feel free to upload a photo from the option on each new post.
~
martlist
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:23 am

Mitchell NC #240 originally purchased by Walt Disney Productions

Post by martlist » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:43 pm

It’s time I shared my first ever film camera. I have been a huge film fan my whole life, always more interested in what was happening behind the camera than in front, probably because growing up I had better access to making of documentaries and shows on TV than to the actual films themselves. However one of the things I knew nothing about was cameras and I plan to use this one to learn a little more about them, research its history and hopefully have some fun in the process.
IMG_3819.jpeg
IMG_3809.jpeg
IMG_3810.jpeg
IMG_3801.jpeg
IMG_3805.jpeg
IMG_3807.jpeg
IMG_3812.jpeg
IMG_3814.jpeg
IMG_3816.jpeg
Ed has been helping me with some of the research and here is what I have learnt so far:

Disney Studios:

• This Mitchell NC 240 was sold directly to Walt Disney Productions on November 30th 1944

• Ed tells me that according to the Mitchell records Disney only purchased 3 NCs directly. #240, #578 and #1048, the last of which is in the Walt Disney Family Museum and was adapted for the underwater filming of 20,000 Leagues by Don Iwerks. https://www.cnet.com/pictures/walt-disn ... photos/32/

• The motor has the serial number plaque on the side and I have not been able to spot it in any of the available online photos of Mitchells in use at Disney so far.

• Disney Studios was also known to rent Mitchells according to interviews with Iwerks such as #257 that was auctioned off by Profiles in History as part of the Debbie Reynolds collection which makes working out what mine may have been used on pretty difficult so far.

• Have included some pictures I have found online of Mitchell NCs in use at Disney during this time period but of course there are none with a clear view of the serial number. For example it looks like NCs were used to film all the live action reference for the animators on Cinderella, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, etc.

Praxis Film Works:

• It has a Praxis inventory label on the magazine. Praxis Film Works was founded by one of the ILM founders Robert Blalack in 1975 and did visual effects for the first Star Wars, Blues Brothers, Airplane!, Altered States and Robocop amongst others. Still trying to see if I can confirm the camera was also in their possession at some point. Robert thought they had 4 to 5 Mitchells but didn’t know more beyond that. He did point me to Richard Bennett at Cinema Engineering.

• If it was at Praxis then it likely became a VFX camera for the rest of its life.

Rhythm & Hues:

• Praxis shut down and sold all its inventory to Rhythm & Hues in 1994. Assuming the camera was at Praxis then this would have been its next home.

Things I need to place in the timeline:

• Would be great to work out at which point in it was converted to reflex and by whom.

• There are additional numbers engraved into the camera and red outlined engraved plaques on the camera and motor case (E3343 and E3541). Assume these are inventory tags too and wonder if this is something Disney did?

Huge thanks to Ed for all the help so far and looking forward to the rest of the journey.
Attachments
IMG_3808.jpeg

martlist
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:23 am

Re: Mitchell NC #240 originally purchased by Walt Disney Productions

Post by martlist » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:46 pm

Here are some of the online photos of unidentified Mitchell's in use by Walt Disney Studios:
NC1.jpg
nc1b.jpg
NC2.jpg
NC3.jpeg
NC4.png
NC5.png
NC6.jpeg
NC7.jpg
NC8.jpeg
NC9.jpg

martlist
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:23 am

Re: Mitchell NC #240 originally purchased by Walt Disney Productions

Post by martlist » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:16 am

Correction thanks to Ed! #1048 is a Standard and not an NC so there are only records of 2 NCs being sold to Disney, not 3
martlist wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:43 pm
• Ed tells me that according to the Mitchell records Disney only purchased 3 NCs directly. #240, #578 and #1048, the last of which is in the Walt Disney Family Museum and was adapted for the underwater filming of 20,000 Leagues by Don Iwerks. https://www.cnet.com/pictures/walt-disn ... photos/32/

Post Reply